AUTHORITIES in Andalucia are to step up the search for the remains of people who went missing during the civil war.
The state will be able to temporarily expropriate land in cases where its owner does not allow a search for a mass grave on the property, under a draft law presented by the regional government.
An estimated 60,000 people went missing in Andalucia during the war, between 1936 and 1939.
The draft law of “democratic memory” also stipulates that statues, street names and other public symbols honouring Franco and his dictatorship, which ran until his death in 1975, be removed within 18 months.
The move furthers that of a law passed in 2007, which requires reminents of the regime be destroyed, but set no time table.
Right wing local authorities have resisted attempts by campaigners to force them to comply with the legislation.
Andalucia argues the measures in its draft law have the backing of the United Nations Committee on Enforced Disappearance, which last year recommended Spain uncover the fates of victims of Franco.
Around 114,000 bodies of people killed during the civil war and Franco’s four-decade rule are thought to lie in mass graves around Spain.